Sdtrk: ‘Der Rauber und der Prinz’ by DAF
Not so much earlier than right now, I had the vague stirrings of an altogether different post in mind, but then I saw the following clip of Delia Derbyshire, the doyenne of musique concrète during the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s heyday, posted to YouTube and decided, ‘well, that other post is gonna have to wait a wee bit longer.’
Delia Derbyshire is one of the earliest and most influential electronic sound synthesists in history. She was musically active from 1962 until the mid seventies, then briefly again for a few years before she died in 2001 at the age of 64.
Although her revolutionary sounds are familiar to over a hundred million people through the theme to the television series “Doctor Who” and the seminal album of 1969 “An Electric Storm” she was hardly ever credited and her name is almost unknown. The bulk of her musical production and atmospheric sound for television and radio programmes is on tape in the BBC Sound Archives. Her own personal collection of tapes was also consigned to the archive on her death and since then only three new tracks have been released on compilation albums with music from other composers. Most will probably never be heard again. A catalogue was made of the Archives, but it has not been published.
taken from this site
Gods, she’s so hot, both physically and creatively. And keep in mind that she and the other premiere members of the Radiophonic workshop, namely John Baker and David Cain, were creating things such as loops and sequencing with analogue equipment. No fancy ProTools or laptop magick here, which makes what they did all the more astounding. I recall seeing another interview with her on the recent DVD for ‘An unearthly child’, the first ever Doctor Who episode, and she was saying that sometimes they would make tapeloops that would literally run the length of a hallway. And naturally, everything was hand-spliced back then. Hand-spliced. Can you imagine?
And yes, I absolutely melted when I heard the way she pronounced ‘punctuating’.
Would you like to learn more about Delia Derbyshire, the woman who helped revolutionise 20th century music? Yes, yes you would. Why not stop round the appropriately-named delia-derbyshire.org, and kill an hour or two?